RiceGum. The Controversial Hero Asian Guys Need, Not the One We Deserve?

Is he a role model for Asian American men? Or just your everyday average fuckboy?

Editor’s Note – An anonymous reader took issue with this article and it’s positive slant on RiceGum and wrote a response piece.

This article is an extension of our Asian masculinity issue, which you can get here. Author Will Chou can be found at WillYouLaugh.com! Follow him on Twitter (@willyoulaugh).

If you haven’t heard already, Asian YouTuber RiceGum recently posted up his first official girlfriend, Abby Rao. The girl is an Instagram model and started around 150,000 followers or less when she first met RiceGum, and is now up to 400k+ (and counting).

If you’re not familiar with RiceGum, he’s a controversial character in the YouTube scene because he achieved a massive growth starting out by stirring up drama with other successful YouTubers, Viners, and influencers and reacting to viral videos and personalities. The strategy was wildly successful and caused many of these influencers with a large following to create a response video which drove some of their followers to RiceGum’s page.

When he started adding on diss tracks, his growth increased even more as the beats were catchy, the music videos were well done, and other influencers wanted to join his songs or respond with their own songs. His young followers ate it up. Also, he would play video games and stream on Twitch, often while chatting up some hot girl via Skype (which his followers would find on social media and spam to get them to chat with him).


(A girl even left her boyfriend just to stream with RiceGum.)

When I was asked to write an article about RiceGum who I followed for a while, I was torn because he has made a lot of enemies, spread a lot of negativity with his drama, and showed off his wealth shamelessly  — and those aren’t philosophies I necessarily agree with (but to each his own).

But at the same time, he’s undeniably made an impression on millions of young minds about a new type of Asian man in America who can succeed romantically with women of all ethnicities.

Ryan Higa, possibly the most followed Asian-American influencer of all time, just did a collab with RiceGum. Ryan is always positive, so if he sees something in RiceGum, then I can give him a chance.

Frankly, I have followed his journey online for many years and I’m familiar with his story.

The most empowering and fascinating thing you should know about him in the last couple of years is his deep friendship with Sommer Ray, one of if not the most followed self-made Instagram models (currently at a monstrous 20.1 million followers on Instagram) — and one of the humblest.

Sommer Ray Rice Gum

RiceGum first met Sommer along with social media maven Logan Paul a few years ago. After hanging out for a while, their friendship blossomed. Over a year later, Sommer was invited to move into the mansion that RiceGum live in along with other social media influencers.

What’s so empowering about this relationship is that almost from the get-go when Sommer moved in, followers of both parties, especially RiceGum’s, have been hoping, speculating, and rooting for them to become a couple.  

Moreover, RiceGum’s interactions with Sommer have always been friendly and treating her like an equal.

From an Asian American representation and inspiration standpoint, his natural behavior is an example of how we should act towards beautiful women yet it’s something that few if any Asian American men do.

We’re stereotyped to be shy, intimidated, and reserved when we see super attractive women because that’s how we are — perhaps, it’s part of our cultural upbringing.

Obviously, this kind of behavior doesn’t lead to success with women. But here you have RiceGum talking to one of the most followed, thirsted after models in the industry and maybe even mainstream entertainment as an equal rather than as an idol on a pedestal. Dozens upon dozens of videos to millions of viewers of their relationship impacts how America sees Asians.

Speculation of Rice and Sommer secretly dating were shattered after 2 years when videos of Sommer and a new man leaked and when Sommer officially announced she was dating a man she met in a restaurant.

From a video RiceGum did with Alissa Violet during that time, RiceGum seemed bummed about Sommer’s new relationship. Nonetheless, their friendship and all the millions of eyeballs on them in that time really changed the perspectives of all the people following them. I saw plenty of black and white subscribers and influencers assuming and concluding without a doubt that Sommer was RiceGum’s girlfriend, which I can see as nothing but helping change the old mainstream perspective that Asian men in America aren’t romantically or sexually attractive.

Now, on to RiceGum’s new girlfriend. Many months after we discovered Sommer’s new boyfriend, RiceGum was posting YouTube videos with a new blonde girl. He would have new girls in videos, but they would usually only appear once and never again for a while because they would be collabs which require travel. But this girl appeared in a couple consecutive videos. After a few, followers started speculating that they were together. RiceGum quickly confirmed that they were a couple in another video, which also happened to feature the girlfriend’s best friend Katie Bell who also happens to be an Instagram model and one of Dan Bilzerian’s girlfriends.

Katie Bell Abby Rao Ricegum

I know, the whole story seems like an unlikely mishmash of the world’s most famous social media influencers, but really it’s just a world where everyone knows somebody who knows somebody, and I’m sticking to the highlights to not make the story too long.

RiceGum’s girlfriend is white (and also possibly one of the hottest White girls on the planet… not even exaggerating). It’s obvious and it has to be stated. In this day and age, while we have made great progress with seeing beyond races, there’s still a big stigma behind the lack of Asian male white female couples.

Abby Rao Image

RiceGum’s new girlfriend and relationship is still new. As of this writing, he’s been hanging out with this girl for a few months. He announced their relationship just recently. Will it last? Is it a perfect relationship? Probably not. Frankly, most of the people I’ve mentioned in this article are super young in their early twenties. They have a lot to learn about love, respect, trust, honesty, and so forth. If you seen RiceGum’s latest videos, he’s been pushing the envelope far by doing back-to-back pranks on his girlfriend that are challenging their relationship, such as accidentally calling his girlfriend Sommer and ignoring her for 24 hours. Both of their behavior speaks of young love, and there will inevitably be stumbles along their relationship.

Is RiceGum a perfect model for Asian American representation and how we should behave to succeed?

No. His excessive flexing of $1,000 Supreme hoodies and other expensive items can give men a false sense of what they need to get a decent girl or be happy. You shouldn’t be insecure and believe you need so much money to get a girl, as shown by the restaurant server who is dating Sommer Ray.

And sometimes, his bias for personal entertainment, sense of humor, and striving to get more views and money can cause him to do things that are rude and hurt other people. Like that one time recently where he logged his trip to China trolling the General Public with American references and holding hands of strangers pissed people off so much that millions of people on Chinese social media reacted in outrage. Or any of his beef and drama with others.

But he does do some stuff very well. He has no Asian accent whatsoever. He knows American culture down to a tee. He uses the slang. He connects with people he meets instantly from a American to American perspective. People instantly recognize and conclude that he is another American.

He also naturally has a amazing sense of humor, which is one of the most important traits that almost every girl looks for in a man. I dare you to go on YouTube and search for one of his Twitch chats with a hot girl. There are dozens of them, and in almost everyone, he makes the girl laugh quickly because he’s funny, and he has enough natural charisma to keep a conversation going and keep the girl comfortable, entertained, and sometimes a bit flirtatious.

Next, as mentioned, he’s sees girls as equals, and isn’t intimidated by them.

Just by how he talks to them and what he says, the words flow out of his mouth, and you can tell there is confidence there. I wouldn’t say that he is always confident in all situations. I’ve seen him less confidence in many other situations. But in his domain on his computer or in his house with other hot social media influencers or models, he is on point.

In conclusion, maybe we can make our lives a little bit better by learning from what he does well and what he can improve upon. We can stop treating hot women as these objects we put on a pedestal and as actual humans that are equal to us and that we should talk to like another good friend. We can work on our Charisma, conversation skills, and humor. We can lead by example to show our appreciation and understanding of American culture. And we can do it without being rude or hurtful to other people or overcompensating.

Abby Rao

Overall, I’m excited to see where RiceGum will go from here. I’m older than most of his followers, who are usually in there middle school years. Honestly, I watch him because he gives me hope. It’s hope that we can have more and more Asian American role models who are cool, normal dudes who men and women admire.

I think that’s what a lot of us ultimately want.

He’s no Bruce Lee, but he is moving things in the right direction for Asian guys.

Written by Editorial Staff